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  • News

    An ancient child from East Asia grew teeth like a modern human

    An ancient child with a mysterious evolutionary background represents the oldest known case of humanlike tooth growth in East Asia, researchers say.

    The child’s fossilized upper jaw contains seven teeth that were in the process of developing when the roughly 6½-year-old youngster died at least 104,000 years ago and possibly more than 200,000 years ago. Using X-rays to examine the teeth’s...

    01/16/2019 - 14:12 Anthropology, Human Evolution, Human Development
  • News

    Easing test anxiety boosts low-income students’ biology grades

    At a large Midwestern high school, almost 40 percent of low-income biology students were poised to fail the course. Instead, thanks to simple measures aimed at reducing test anxiety, that failure rate was halved. 

    Psychological interventions that improve grades could ultimately help keep more low-income students in the sciences, says Christopher Rozek, a psychologist at Stanford...

    01/14/2019 - 15:00 Psychology, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Your phone could reveal your radiation exposure after a nuclear disaster

    In the event of a nuclear attack or accident, personal electronics could be repurposed as radiation detectors.

    A ceramic insulator found in many devices, such as cell phones and fitness trackers, gives off a glow under high heat that reveals its past nuclear radiation exposure, researchers report in the February Radiation Measurements. That insight may allow experts to gauge someone’s...

    01/14/2019 - 06:00 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • News

    Here’s how the record-breaking government shutdown is disrupting science

    As the partial federal government shutdown enters its fourth week — on January 12 becoming the longest in U.S. history — scientists are increasingly feeling the impact. Thousands of federal workers who handle food safety and public health are furloughed. Countless projects researching everything from climate change to pest control to hurricane prediction are on hold.

    Among government...

    01/12/2019 - 08:00 Science & Society
  • News

    ‘Little Foot’ skeleton reveals a brain much like a chimp’s

    An ancient hominid skeleton dubbed Little Foot possessed a brain largely similar to that of modern chimpanzees and an inner ear with a mix of apelike and humanlike features, two studies suggest. These findings, along with other analyses of the adult female’s 3.67-million-year-old skeleton, point to the piecemeal evolution of humanlike traits in close relatives of our species, scientists say....

    01/10/2019 - 06:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    A new app tracks breathing to detect an opioid overdose

    A new smartphone app may help people who shoot up alone get medical treatment if they accidentally overdose.

    The app, dubbed Second Chance, monitors its user for breathing problems that foreshadow an opioid overdose (SN: 3/31/18, p. 18). In an emergency, the app could call 911 or send an SOS to friends or family who could provide opioid-counteracting medication.

    “Being able to...

    01/09/2019 - 14:00 Health, Technology, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Paint specks in tooth tartar illuminate a medieval woman’s artistry

    Remnants of a rare pigment found in dental tartar of a woman buried around 1,000 years ago at a medieval monastery indicate that she may have been an elite scribe or book painter.

    These pigment flecks come from ultramarine, a rare blue pigment made by grinding lapis lazuli stone imported from Afghanistan into powder, say archaeologist Anita Radini of the University of York in England and...

    01/09/2019 - 14:00 Anthropology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Beyond Weird’ and ‘What Is Real?’ try to make sense of quantum weirdness

    Quantum physics has earned a reputation as a realm of science beyond human comprehension. It describes a microworld of perplexing, paradoxical phenomena. Its equations imply a multiplicity of possible realities; an observation seems to select one of those possibilities for accessibility to human perception. The rest either disappear, remain hidden or weren’t really there to begin...

    01/06/2019 - 08:00 Quantum Physics, History of Science
  • The Science Life

    This scientist watches meat rot to decipher the Neandertal diet

    WASHINGTON — Kimberly Foecke has a great relationship with her local butcher.

    Though she buys loads of meat, Foecke is not a chef or the owner of a small zoo. She’s a paleobiologist who studies what Neandertals ate. And that involves, in her words, “experimental putrefaction, which is a fancy way of saying, I rot meat, all day, every day.”

    Scientists know Neandertals ate a lot of...

    01/02/2019 - 06:00 Anthropology, Nutrition
  • News

    Known as the ‘mother of Hubble,’ astronomer Nancy Roman dies at 93

    Nancy Roman, a groundbreaking astronomer known as the “Mother of Hubble,” died on December 25 at the age of 93.As NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy, Roman oversaw the early planning and development of the Hubble Space Telescope (SN: 10/10/64, p. 231) as well as other space observatories and satellites. “I knew that taking on this responsibility would mean that I could no longer do research, but...

    12/31/2018 - 17:11 Astronomy, Science & Society